Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mountain dew

This past Sunday, Jennifer and I celebrated our anniversary, marking six years to the day since our little fling became permanent. Each year we have celebrated the occasion at the same cottages in New York's Catskill Mountains. Last year, because Jennifer and I both had lots of time off and were becoming bored with merely feeding Kyle and watching "Family Feud" everyday, we spent five beautiful days up there. This year we did not have as much time. Due to time and work restraints, we arrived in the mountains late Saturday night and left early Monday morning. Basically, that left us with Sunday, the actual day of our anniversary. It was also the only rainy day of the week.

The lack of sunshine did not mean a lack of fun. In fact, there are plenty of things you can do whenever you're trapped inside a small cottage with a 15-month-old child. For example, you could wrestle...

You could throw socks at your child's head...

Or you could glue his pants to the floor and see if he is able to escape...

At this point we were running out of ideas, and fast. Years ago, rainy days did not bother us much. We would spend the afternoon inside playing cards or a board game, or we would go outside and soak ourselves while imaging the foliage on the mountains hidden behind a wall of clouds. Now that we have Kyle, we don't want to risk getting him sick by standing outside in the rain, and he's not exactly the best card player at the moment. We have yet to teach him Go Fish or Hearts, and he cheats at poker. Our only option was to play silly games with our son, trying to keep him happy until nap time.

For much of the weekend, Kyle was happy. He would move through the cottage carrying his cup of Cheerios like a vacationing adult would carry a bag of chips, snacking on them whenever he felt like it. He loved his temporary little home, and he would crack up at the things inside, like the twin beds in his room or the couch in the living room. With his toys strewn around everywhere, the cottage became Kyle's fun house... and he had so much fun, he refused to nap. Suddenly we had a few more hours we needed to fill, a kid who was going crazy, and a cup of Cheerios that had become dangerously low.

We desperately needed coffee. While we had a pot in the kitchen, we realized it made more sense to go out and get a cup and eat up time. Also, there was a chance Kyle would sleep on the way, since any form of civilization (coffee shop) was at least 500 miles from our cottage, or so it seemed. Having been in the car a great deal on Saturday, and knowing we were going to be doing a lot of driving on Monday, we were not excited about the prospect of being trapped in the vehicle again. Yet, as we watched Kyle try to gnaw through the living room table, we realized that was our only choice if we wanted to keep our sanity. So we buckled him up and drove out in the rain, searching for a coffee shop.

Turns out the car ride was the best idea we had all day (besides rolling up the car windows). Even with all the rain and clouds, we were still able to enjoy the foliage. Since Kyle was new to facing forward in the car, he was hypnotized by the windshield wipers, and quickly fell asleep. The only downside was our inability to find a coffee shop (somehow, someway, the people in the Catskills learn to live without Java Chip Frappachinos). We spotted a Dunkin' Donuts self-serve coffee stand at a gas station, and, considering all we had gone through by that point, it was perfectly fine with us. With our caffeine fix, we had enough energy to make it through the rest of the day. As darkness fell and the thunder boomed outside, we put Kyle to bed, drank champagne to toast our anniversary, and watched an excellent award-winning movie titled "Hot Fuzz."

The next morning Kyle slept in, but our alarm woke us at six. We needed to get up early so that Jennifer could be back in the city to put in a full day of work. It was a mad rush, but we managed to get packed up and on the road by 8:30 a.m. As we weaved past the colorful trees, we said good-bye to the Catskills, with the hope that we would return next year. In less than three hours we were back in New York City... and the weather was gorgeous.

1 comment:

Little Apple said...

Happy Anniversary!
And really, there's no coffee shops in the Catskills? Totally scratching them off my list of places to visit. On the other hand maybe you've found yourself an excellent business venture.